I haven't been having the greatest luck with the pirate corporations I've been joining. Certainly I've been able to get into some prestigious corporations with outstanding reputations--but not during their finest hour. Currently I'm in a well-known corporation and alliance, but I'm not encouraged to see how many experienced pirates are leaving the corporation, amidst little evident action to rectify things. Personally, I'm too inexperienced really to know what the problems even are. All I know is I've had little opportunity to learn from more experienced pirates throughout my short career. Being in an east Asian timezone only compounds the situation. I rely so much for my guidance on intelligence I can glean from various forums.
Having said that, I have had several chances lately to take part in group pirate activities--camping gates and probing out mission runners in deep space. This has helped me to think about qualifying for and fitting out ships more appropriate for such activities (battlecruisers and battleships), and that's been a good thing. But, although I hear tell of hot action and generous shares of plunder from rich merchant vessels and faction-fitted warships, I'm not getting appreciably more action than when I prowl star systems solo, hunting sometimes for hours before catching some unwary prey at an asteroid belt.
First, I spent some hours gate-camping in a Myrmidon. This involved several hours of forming a gang, sharing bookmarks at various distances from a gate, setting up a cloaked ship to relay intelligence from the other side of the gate, discussing strategy, and telling stories of "that time when...." Unfortunately, our camp was turned against us; a rival corporation sent a lone battleship through the gate, and then when we jumped in on him, several more battleships arrived, causing our fleet commander to order retreat. Unfortunately for three of us, we were warp scrambled and watched relatively helplessly as our ships were savaged. Although I have ordered more battlecruisers, that Myrmidon was the only one I had at hand, and I was relegated to participating from that point on in a cruiser. And cruisers can't take so much of the sentry-gun fire that always goes with gate-camping.
Then another time we tried our hand at probing down mission-runners in deep space. While I didn't lose any ships during that venture, it did end up being a fruitless several hours; each time we managed to get a fix on a target's position, the target either got spooked somehow, finished its mission and returned to safety, or was so far from the acceleration gate that we couldn't make the tackle before the target escaped.
Now, I am patient. I am not frustrated with what's happened. I know my comrades have been on plenty of successful gate-camping and mission-probing adventures. I even learned a lot in the course of setting up and getting ready. What I yet lack, embarrassingly, is simple experience in either nefarious activity.
Here's hoping for more gangs, successful adventures, and a healthier bottom line in the ledger.